Raconteur engages with community

Tyler Clark poses for a photo at his new business venture, the Raconteur Room, in Atascadero. (Photo by Camas Frank)

Beer and wine establishment open on Traffic Way in Atascadero

Atascadero’s Traffic Way has a new beer and wine establishment operating with a playful twist in the Raconteur Room.

Open since May with the room as an evening music venue and vinyl record lounge, Tyler Clark, the founding, and now former, co-owner of Libertine Brewing Co. said he’s not out of the brewing game just yet, but for now he’s happy to have the place as a stop for locals to chill and unwind.

Their first non-music event took place on a Monday afternoon when the business is usually closed, with members of the City’s Business Improvement District meeting with the Chamber of Commerce and City staffers for a ‘Talk on the Block’ presentation July 8.

Owning a business is a lot of work, but Clark said, it has also been a lot of fun to get back into the side of the hospitality industry that allows him to be creative.

The lounge offered plenty of seating for 30 people spread on an eclectic variety of couches, perched on leather plush bar stools and clustered with their drinks at the penny bartop.

The copper pennies under resin at the bar is one of the “man-cave” stylistic choices for the establishment, with a record jukebox next to the counter and wall art with stylized nods to nerd culture circa 1980-2010.

“It’s not a ‘Fireball bar’,” Tyler explains, noting that he and his wife Shannon took what worked from the experience of starting Libertine in Morro Bay, and translated it to what they thought would do well in a business they can run while raising a family in the area.

The vibe created made for the most laid back and intimate of the Talk on the Block series where members of the Atascadero City Council and senior management came out to hear public concerns.

While Charles Matthews of Edward Jones gave the civic leaders gathered some kudos for getting the recent paving along El Camino Real done in record time, owners of retail establishments brought up the lack of a serious “buy local, shop local,” campaign as a way to keep sales tax revenue from leaving the community.

As the gathering’s host and a recent arrival with hopes of enjoying what the city can offer his brand of establishment, Clark told City staff he’d be concerned if an effort is made to implement an open container ordinance.

“I look at that as being a self-regulating issue if we keep making events in town even cooler [people who drink to excess] won’t be attracted to be there while [families] are present,” he said. “One of the coolest things about Atascadero is that you can just sit out and enjoy a beer.”

He added that just finding out about the number of activities already available in an otherwise small community has been an eye-opener for a lifelong Central Coaster.

Aside from regularly scheduled City activities, in the last two years businesses which have populated the blocks along Traffic Way with a stretch up Palma to Entrada have joined in parties and other events with food trucks and music for public enjoyment.

The Raconteur Room’s house band, the Turkey Buzzards, are joining the list of regular activities locals can rely on, playing there every Thursday night, with Clark now taking names for singer-songwriters to fill out Fridays.

Among the host of social media platforms with information on the business, facebook.com/raconteurroom, should stay current with times and contact information, Clark said.

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